Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Artisanal LA Fall 2013

I attended the Artisanal LA Fall 2013 event this past weekend with a gal pal of mine and was amazed by the work product and talent by the artisanal vendors in attendance.  From kombucha tea, gourmet coffee, Thai spices, savory beef jerky, to delicious melt in your mouth Waygu beef sliders - it's a foodie's dream.

They had a photobooth there, naturally.

For all of you whiskey drinkers out there, Velity sells something called whiskey stones.  These little cubes are hand milled in San Diego, California and are made from the highest quality 100% soapstone.  You freeze the little stones in the freezer and then drop them into your whiskey to keep it cold without diluting the alcohol content.  These make great wedding favors.

Look at all of those yummy donuts!

Next to the donut stand was The Humble Cup - each packet you see there is a single serving of roasted ground coffee that acts as its own filter and drip.  Pretty quick and easy clean up if you ask me! 

This is how easy it is to enjoy a single serving cup of coffee from The Humble Cup

Red velvet ice cream cookie from Chunk Chip Craft anybody??

Anybody who knows me knows I LOVE using honey in cooking.  Love.  It's a great alternative to sugar.  It's no wonder I HAD to immediately pick up 4 pounds worth of honey from Chaparral Mountain Honey.  The owner was a complete sweetheart who took his time to explain the differences in the various honey his company produced.  He even had his honeycomb present to boot!  He recommended his favorite flavor to me: Orange Blossom and it compelled me to immediately open my wallet to hand over my credit card.  I love the sweet citrusy scent and flavor of this honey.

They're packaged in jars and bear squeeze tubes.  I had to get me the bear squeeze tubes, though.  Oh so cute for something oh so healthy!

When we entered the vendor area of this event, my goodness there was a delicious scent of grilled meat wafting through the air and teasing our senses.  The source? Lone Mountain Wagyu beef.  This company has 100% fullblood Wagyu that are naturally raised on a family ranch in Golden, New Mexico.

Simple seasoning of salt and pepper.  Seriously.  That's it.  The meat was out of this world DELICIOUS.  How am I suppose to go back to ribeye after this??

Some delicious bread from Los Angeles Bread Bakers
Their pretzel bagel was pretty yummy

Los Angeles Bread Bakers display

These pretzel bagels were yummy!

I love carbs

Kombucha Tea from Better Booch
Kombucha Tea is a probiotic tea that is naturally fermented and contains enzymes, amino acids, B vitamins, and anti-oxidants.  I liked this vendor's Kombucha Tea better than the other ones at Artisanal LA as this one doesn't have vinegar notes in them.

Dragon Whiskers Candy: made of honey, peanuts, and sesame.  I wasn't a big fan of this but was fascinated by how it was made.

 The owner demonstrated how he makes the candy

From Cast Iron Gourmet, cajun flavored, Maple flavored, and Pepper flavored gourmet bacon.  I ended up buying a pound of the cajun bacon.  OH SO GOOD!

Macarons from Paris!  Loved hearing French again from a native.  I admit I only tried the espresso flavored macaroon and it was intense.  

I love tasting salts and was happy to see a vendor selling various salts: Hepp's Salt Bar.  This company boasted having a spicy salt.  Tres interesting, no?

Cute handmade paper flowers

My FAVORITE vendor at Artisanal LA was Le Pop Shop.  First, the booth was oh so cute with its color, whimsical, and playful display.  Second, we actually met Chef Katie Torres in the elevator heading up to the floor housing Artisanal LA, though we didn't know who she was at the time.  She was so friendly and was the one who recommended that we try the Wagyu beef sliders.  The night before we went to Artisanal LA, I saw a photo on Artisanal LA's Facebook page featuring Le Pop Shop's donut styled macaron and was determined to find this booth.  As we were walking around, my gal pal saw a little girl holding the donut macaron and immediately hollered for my attention.  I quickly looked around and found myself face to face with the lady in the elevator - none other than Chef Katie Torres, owner and master mind behind Le Pop Shop.  She was so friendly and sweet.  Worked with Iron Chef Mario Batali to boot!  Love it!  

Her Ice Cream Cake Pops are sooooo cute that I can't bear eating the ones I bought

Check out her website in the link I provided above.  There's a photo of a macaron shaped cake she created that deserves an honorable mention!

Ok who doesn't like salted caramel corn?  The guys here were hilarious and made sure we tried the cayenne salted caramel corn...and I'm glad they did because I HAD to buy a bag after the first bite.  Shout out to them for taking notice of my gal pal's lash extensions!

You can't beat cotton candy....especially when it's organic and all natural by Bon Puf.  The various flavors were to intriguing: chai spice and mango chili?  AWESOME!

Banzai Jerky, how your bacon jerky stole my heart!!  No preservatives, less sodium, less calories, and high protein.  No wonder figure skater Michelle Kwan loves Banzai Jerky.  Their original flavored jerky was delish but when the gentleman working there offered me a taste of their bacon jerky, I was sold!  Smokey, savory, and delicious typical of bacon but tender and satisfying as jerky.  Definitely one of my top 3 favorite vendors at Artisanal LA.  I wouldn't shut up about it the rest of the time at Artisanal LA.

Aaaaah a taste of Italy via gelato

Another vendor for kombucha tea by Kombucha Dog
I have to be honest - I do NOT like anything that has to do with vinegar.  This particular brand has vinegar notes to it so the flavor wasn't enticing for me.  What WAS impressive is that the creator of this company takes photos of homeless dogs, put them on the labels of his tea, and then tries to find them homes.  As a dog lover, this mission stole my heart.  For all of you kombucha tea fans out there, if you're ok with the taste of vinegar, gravitate this way.  Our furry friends are always in need of our help!

One of the last booths I visited was Lula Mae's.  LOVED it.  The pins she was selling just gave me a great laugh.  My type of humor!

She has other cute and hilarious items sold at her business so check it out!

Can't wait to see which other vendors will be at Artisanal LA next year!  Did any of you attend?  Which vendors did you enjoy the most and why?

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